As Christians, we need a daily reminder that we are in a war, a spiritual war as Paul writes in Ephesians 6:10-12. But here is the great truth that Watchman Nee writes, “We don’t fight for victory, we fight from victory”.
We stand in victory that Jesus completed when he died and rose again.
I have found that the armor of God which we find in Ephesians 6:13-18, to be extremely important on mission trips, and for everyday life.
There is a reason verse 13 says, “take up the whole armor of God”, every piece is vital for our Christian walk. Satan and his demons are looking for a weak point in our defenses where they can attack us.
1 The first is the Belt of Truth.
We know that Satan is a liar and John says that he is the father of lies (John 8:44). The belt is the piece that holds all the suit of armor together, truth is foundational to standing firm.
The Belt also holds the sword, without the truth, the sword of the spirit will be ineffective in the life of the follower of Jesus.
2 The Breastplate of righteousness.
The breastplate was a metallic covering that covered the front and the back of the soldier, from the neck to the waist.
This breastplate is not of our righteousness, it is the righteousness of Christ. This is the only righteousness that we have (2 Corinthians 5:21). What a blessing to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
3 The shoes of the Gospel.
The Gospel of peace is that Jesus, who was fully God and fully man, lived a perfect sinless life, died in our place on a roman cross, taking the punishment that we deserved. He rose from the dead, appeared to hundreds, before ascending into heaven where he is now interceding for us. The Gospel is like spikes in our shoes, allow us to stand firm in the face of any enemy attack.
But more than standing firm, we have the blessing and the calling to share the Gospel with the world around us, as the prophet Isaiah writes:
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
4 The Shield of Faith.
Satan is firing darts at us all the time. These darts are aimed at our hearts and our minds. Lies, evil thoughts, hateful thoughts about others, and temptation, these are all darts with flaming points that Satan wants to penetrate the Christians armor. We must constantly hold up the shield of faith.
One of the features of the shields in the Roman times was that they could lock together and form a near impenetrable barrier. This is why we are safer together in the body of Christ. Never attempt to go into a battle alone, we need the support of other believers in the Body of Christ.
5 The Helmet of Salvation
Satan wants to attack the mind; planting seeds of doubt, envy, lust, greed and the like.
It is how he caused Adam and Eve to sin, by sowing a seed of doubt about the goodness of God.
What we think about, dwell on, meditate in is really important. Our thoughts need to be submitted to God (2 Corinthians 10:5-6).
Paul writes in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
The Helmet of salvation is put on with diligent reading and studying the Word of God. Don’t neglect the study of the word of God. In order to recognize the lies of the enemy, we need to know the truth.
6 The Sword of the Spirit.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The Word of God brings conviction of sin, piercing to the heart. Have you noticed how aggressive some unbelievers become when Scripture is quoted? The reason is that the Bible is inspired and empowered by the very spirit of God.
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he used the sword of the Spirit, he used the word of God to defeat Satan. The better you know the word of God, the better you will be able to discern the lies of the enemy.
The Armor of God is also picture of Jesus:
- He is the truth.
- He is our righteousness.
- He is our peace.
- He is our salvation.
- He is the word of God.
Daily we should be in the habit of putting on the armor of God. Satan never stops his attacks; we must never be defenseless.
We need to have a paradigm shift in our approach to the attacks of the enemy of our souls. Usually, we ask God to help us to defeat Satan in a certain area of our lives, but may I suggest a different way of praying. We need to pray thanking God for the victory that Jesus has already won and ask Him for the strength to stand firm. This requires faith. That is why Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
If we are a church that is about missions, fulfilling the Great Commission, spiritual warfare should be normal. And putting on the armor of God should be a way of life.